Lilongwe – Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi says progress has been made in ending the terrorist insurgency in the north of the country, and his administration is doing everything it can to create an environment that guarantees security to people and business.
President Nyusi said this as he officially opened the 56th Maputo International Trade Fair this week, which was themed “Industrialisation, Innovation and Diversification of the National Economy”.
“We will remain attentive to the movement of terrorists, but the results we have so far achieved open good prospects for the restoration of an environment of stability and predictability which are needed for business to flourish across the country,” President Nyusi said. “We remain very watchful and we acknowledge that terrorism usually acts in several ways, hence we do not want to state that terrorism will be eliminated tomorrow. We are very cautious about that.”
He added that the government was concurrently proceeding with its Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programme of a militia formed by Renamo, the country’s main opposition party.
The insurgency started in 2017 but intensified last year as radical Islamists sought to establish a Caliphate of Eastern and Southern Africa. This saw the Southern African Development Community and Rwanda deploying thousands of troops and personnel to quell the rebellion; while the European Union and the United States have extended technical support.
This week, Mozambican authorities and the foreign military support said more than 1,000 people who had fled Cabo Delgado Province were able to return to their homes as offensive operations against insurgents gain momentum.
The insurgency is concentrated in the north of the country where multibillion dollar natural gas developments have been disrupted. French energy firm Total this year halted work in Cabo Delgado due to the insurgency.
However, African Development Bank President Dr Akniwmi Adesina told Reuters he did not expect the instability to affect long-term viability of the investments.
“The return of security in that place will give assurances to Total and others to return. In one year to 18 months, I expect it to be stabilised enough to get back on track,” he said.
The AfDB is putting US$400 million in the gas developments that have been touted as Africa’s largest ever foreign direct investment.